6.02.2016

one of a kind ride

There are things in life where you don't get a do over. Many of them are first, once in a life time occurrences. You may, or may not, even want to do them over. The reality is you can't anyways, anything additional that happens is an experience that follows. Some firsts are big life turning events, others are smaller milestones. We had one of the latter. A one of a kind ride, with our own horses, on our own land, for the very first time!!!

We worked hard, so we could play on Sunday. We trailered in, saddled up and headed out...


riding the grassy area

...it wasn't long before we had to ride over logging debris. It is a temporary by-pass that borders one edge of our thick woodsand allows us to get to nicer pathsI was impressed with our horses. It has been over a year and a half since they've left the stables. They were fresh off the trailer and did a good job picking their way through the branch rubble. It didn't last long, and gave us access to...






...soft footing, forest smells and relaxing pines. Sigh. I love this path!!

We continued onto an area we recently worked on, and rode across the log obstacle. Nemo was calm, cool and collected, and crossed the logs with no problem. On the other hand, Koda needed to be asked to slow down and approached the logs too fast. He cut to the inside on the last short log before I had time to think differently. I'll be more focused and ready next time! 

Much to my surprise we turned and headed south. Apparently we need to finish clearing the entire spooky tree trail before riding any of it. Boo!! Oh well, something new to experience another day. I'm thinking of adding a little hidden troll in those spooky trees ha ha! That could be fun with guest riders. Notice I didn't say ghost riders ;)





I was really surprised to see how much work our son got done, it allowed us to ride that entire strip! Needs a little more cleanup by hand, guess who's job that will likely end up being?! Wasn't expecting that path to be so nice, what a difference! 






We made our way onto "the loop" and were riding along one of the field strips when Koda suddenly took a big sideways jump! I was fiddling with my phone, trying to take more pictures and not paying attention. Classic mistake. I felt myself start to slide off my saddle, gulp! Thankfully, instead I stuck. Whew! Have I told you lately how much I love my new saddle?!! Had I been riding in my previous one, I no doubt would have hit the ground. Good tack makes all the difference in the world. Needless to say, I stopped taking pictures for the rest of the ride.

Who knows what Koda spooked at? There were a couple turkey way across the field, or maybe a horse eating monster was hiding in the brush. He was on high alert, even more so while riding in the wide open. A string of smaller spooks followed the first big one. We rounded the corner to ride on the other side of that strip. The neighbors high flying flags were now in clear view, that didn't seem to bother him. We had a nice talk last week, so I knew their helicopter wasn't going to appear out of nowhere. We probably could have continued riding the remaining fields, but I didn't see the point of pushing Koda. I much prefer easing back into rides and giving Koda the benefit of the doubt. His world was so small for so long, he just needs time. My experience with him tells me he will be more relaxed next time, and in a better state of mind to ride those remaining field strips.

We changed directions, and continued riding through different fields. Meandering towards a preexisting wooded path. I swear I heard Koda let out a big sigh, as we re-entered the woods. Then it was onto fun riding up an embankment. So glad everything isn't flat! We ending up by the grassy area where we started and put the horses in the paddocks for a little while. They grazed, and we just hung out with them. Soaking everything in...





One of our neighbors stopped by to chat. We could all hear him slowly approaching us on his four wheeler. It was good timing. As he came puttering closer through the trees, Koda reacted with a big old spook almost clear across the paddock. Silly Koda! Glad I wasn't in the saddle at that exact moment. I don't think any kind of tack would have helped me sit that one. Our boys have ridden past many four wheelers up north, and never spooked at them before. Our neighbor couldn't have approached any better, and even parked at a distance. It was good for Koda & Nemo to experience early on, because they will no doubt see more four wheelers in the future. We enjoyed his visit, and learning more about the area. He even offered up his land for riding. Such welcoming surroundings.





Altho Koda was on fast forward the entire ride, and wasn't the calm horse he can be, we had a really good first trail ride!! It could have been longer, it could have been a lot of things. But the important part was that it was, the experience happened. So quiet, and pretty. We saw a couple turkey & a deer. No signs of the white one, yet.

It was a one of a kind ride, one to remember. 
Truly a blessing to be caretakers of this special property. We don't need permission to clear something, put up a fence, or ride across a field. We can take care of the land. Our land. For our family. A lifelong dream, that is coming together little-by-little...



6 comments:

Shirley said...

Happy dance for you! Looks like a lovely place you ride. Koda will get better there, and once you live there you will get so much riding in!

Karol Ayne said...

It sounds like you had a lovely ride.

I can't agree more that a good saddle makes all the difference in enjoying your ride. Since I bought my Austrailan saddle, I don't think I ever want to ride in anything else. It just really me and is 10X more secure on the trail than anything else I've ever sat in.

I also give you tons of credit for not pushing Koda to finish the ride in the remaining fields. Sometimes toning things down a bit and lightening our expectations when our horses tell us they "need it" is a big factor in gaining trust and building a great partnership. It doesn't always need to be a "do as I say" approach...

Your photos are beautiful. I would love more than anything to have my own place....and with fields and woods to boot. :-)

C-ingspots said...

Ah yes, a first of many memorable outings for sure. Your land is just beautiful, and so peaceful looking. So happy you enjoyed your first ride at home. Koda was likely just having one of "those" days. We all have them. I remember you mentioning you were getting a new saddle, but I don't remember seeing it. Can you post some pics of it? I've ridden the same saddle for 35 years now, and I still love it. There are a couple of things that I'd like to be different, so I'm considering the purchase of another saddle.

4RRanch said...

Sounds like a successful ride, everyone back in one piece. One of our horses is a lot like Koda, she even spooks on the trail if it opens up too wide. Great to be able to enjoy your own land.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Surely a ride to remember! Your property is beautiful and there can be no better feeling than riding on your own land. I'm sure Koda will be calmer the more you ride there. So happy for you all.

aurora said...

Thank you all for riding along & sharing in our joy!!

Lorie, click to enlarge the photo of Koda in the paddock and/or here is a link to my website with photos of my saddle (made by Reed Tack): http://www.aurorawilliamsonphotography.com/p1014222888 also, Billy Cook makes a good Trail Saddle. Nemo models that one.